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Using RFID Technology to Prevent Unauthorized Copying of 3D-Printed Objects

Although 3D printing technology enjoys widespread use, several new problems arise with the creation of objects using the technology. For instance, it has been realized that a 3D-printed object can easily be copied or reproduced by sharing the digital file that was first used to create it. Alternatively, a 3D object can be scanned to create a new digital file that can be used to reproduce the object. This reproduction of objects significantly reduces their uniqueness and desirability. Because of this issue, inventors thought that it would be necessary to have a unique identifier or ID element embedded in a 3D object so that the object cannot be easily copied by scanning, and the ID would then remain a part of the unique digital model. Several methods can be incorporated to provide an ID element in a 3D-printed object. For instance, the ID element may take the form of a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag embedded in the digital model.

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